REVIEW: Jacek Sienkiewics – Mirrors (2007)

Mirrors is a 2007 EP release by Polish electronic artist and Recognition Records label founder Jacek Sienkiewics. Working as a suite of mood pieces most cohesive on the record’s B-side, Mirrors is repetitive nearly to the point of being hypnotic- enjoyable, though not particularly engaging.

A-side and titular track Mirrors is a quickly revolving showcase of small motifs which sit atop the track’s underlying soft arpeggiated synth-lines, aggressively cut into with glitchy kicks and abrasive synth pads. All of this comes across a bit busy, with no one motif ever quite growing to a greater power within the song. It’s a track that could have ultimately done a little more with a little less.

Mirrors‘s B-side, on the other hand, consists of tracks Drunken Master and 350. The former is a delightfully wonky work of arcade-esque foot thumping and hatcheting hi-hats which carry the punch reminiscent of early 8-bit video games. Continuing this drive albeit with a much more smooth sound is closing track 350. Previous arpeggiated blips now seemingly float away to the sonic periphery in a wash of darkening reverb. The sleek and cool 350, along with the rest of Mirrors, continues to work best as backing mood piece to a would-be video game rather than dance floor worship piece.

Ultimately, Mirrors‘s disinterest in engaging the active listener keeps the album from being a particularly worthwhile listen, but finds strong footing in repetitive and passive listening environments. I recommend giving it a spin the next time you decide to bust out a bullet-hell side-scroller.

For fans of: Aphex Twin, Rhode & Brown, Casiopepe

Like Jacek Sienkiewics? Give these a listen: Ouxh, DJ Seinfeld, Mom$

REVIEW: DJ Seinfeld – Season 1 EP (2016)

DJ Seinfeld is a Swedish acid house DJ, sometimes working under other names such as Rimbaudian or Birds of Sweden. Part of the lo-fi house craze, Season 1 EP is built of squelching, grooving bass lines and smooth synth swells that sound like a dusty PS1 starting up. Even digitally, the whole record hisses with the warmth of a well-loved vinyl record. Perhaps the digital release is in fact a direct rip recording from the original pressing.

“It’s a bit strange innit tho?… ….The story of [Season 1 EP] is that I made all of these in one day, somewhere around early spring [2016] when my first love left me. These tracks were pressed and then the original files were destroyed, and like my relationship I had to move on, even though it’s hard u know? I still don’t know how, but I’m trying,” wrote DJ Seinfeld on the album’s Bandcamp listing.

Being part of the lo-fi house craze, Season 1 EP gained both popularity and scrutiny for its pop-art (or meme culture) and vaporwave aesthetics, seen as some kind of joke amongst the old guard of electronic music. Was it novelty? No. But on the heels of ‘norm core’ fashion trends and the disingenuous leftover behaviors of hipster culture still floating around, feelings of authenticity and sincerity dispersed through irony were hard to come by. What is now understood is when privatized entities act as society’s public institutions by way of communities (fandoms) and mythologies (story arches engrained within popular culture), individuals and communities will appropriate from private entities’ iconography to use as culturally understood symbolism.

“All I do know is that I want to live life as uncompromisingly as Kramer does, the way he throws himself without fear into the next adventure.”

While its cover art may be right up the alley of vaporwave and nostalgia enthusiasts, Season 1 EP is an enticing acid house work with lush lo-fi production.

DJ Seinfeld – Season 1 EP was mentioned on Bandcamp’s Starter Guide to the Lo-Fi House Scene.

For fans of: Mall Grab, DJ Boring, COMPUTER DATA

Like DJ Seinfeld? Give these a listen: Ross From Friends, No_4mat, Acetantina

REVIEW: Mom$ – Rave Shit 2 (2018)

Stunted by inconsistent leveling, clipping and mixing, Rave Shit 2 functions more as a mixtape or sketchbook of ideas. Yet Mom$ delivers more than sonic sketches. RS2 is a showcase of simple yet fully fledged ideas from beginning to end. Its choppy nature and bass heavy presence lends itself to the hip-hop and dance tracks it samples while simultaneously giving each track a level of raw edge.

Mom$’ presentation is textbook E-kid; retro interpretation of the internet’s early years, digital trash glitching and anime cyberpunk iconography. Korg synth swells and kicks that sound like they’re coming through the wall sandwich the 90s-styled triplet stabs and filtered samples. Ultimately, Mom$’ style of techno and house is interchangeable with many other records out there in a flooded electronic music market. So while it may not be a particularly distinguished record, RS2 is great fun and I encourage anyone interested to give it a listen.

For fans of: Lord Lorenz, Filmmaker, Machine Girl

Like Mom$? Give these a listen: E•motion, Ulisess, MegaZoneEx

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